The Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa is about to become part of the Town of Oro Valley.
The Oro Valley Town Council approved a pre-annexation agreement, annexation and related ordinances and a resolution to bring the resort into the town limits. The Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce spoke in favor of the annexation and related agreements.
The Westward Look annexation covers a 78-acre parcel at 245 E. Ina Rd. The historic resort is the centerpiece, with a piece of open space immediately to the west that will be protected into perpetuity. There are no residences within the annexed area.
Economic diversification and tax revenue are primary drivers for the annexation. An analysis projects town government would receive net annual sales, lodging and utility tax revenue of $755,000 from the property. That figure rises to $916,000 in 10 years, and the town would receive further construction sales tax and related fees when land at Ina is eventually developed.
Oro Valley agrees to take responsibility for about 1,500 feet of Ina Road, as well as about 1,500 feet of Westward Look Drive immediately north of Ina. Oro Valley commits to resurfacing that piece of Westward Look Drive, and to landscaping along it, within the next year.
Westward Look gains permissions to develop parcels immediately north of Ina on either side of Westward Look Drive. Its representative, The Planning Center, presented various scenarios for such development, with mixes of apartments, a hotel, restaurant, office and retail spaces.
There are no immediate, specific plans for development. Linda Morales of The Planning Center said ownership would do “nothing to diminish the experience” of resort guests. Andrew Stegen, resort general manager, said Westward Look is now completing a $12 million renovation.
Council member Tim Bohen was the lone vote against four of the five questions. “I’m not against annexation as a concept,” Bohen explained. “I truly believe we could have done it better,” emphasizing his belief that nearby residences should be included.
Bohen and Mayor Joe Winfield praised the neighbors for their conduct, persistence and involvement in a process stretching back many months. Council members Steve Solomon and Josh Nicolson were not in attendance and did not vote on the annexation.
Publication of the annexation comes next. The Westward Look would then be part of Oro Valley – and begin collecting and paying Oro Valley taxes – in May.